Electronic Media Argument

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Arguments of the potential impacts of various elements of electronic media in society have room for debate, Steven Johnson and Steven Pinker would agree that these impacts are advantageous to society’s well-being and growth. According to Johnson, the participatory nature of the web is healthier than the passive engagement of similar forms of media before it. While some would say that while the web is participatory, it’s skimmer-friendly nature allows for it to be utilized by some to consume the information in a less comprehensive manner causing society to spend less time being intellectually involved. Pinker would refute this notion by saying, there is an increasing amount of information to engage in, and humans have the same amount of time…show more content…
The three aspects of the internet that he claims are fundamental to support this notion are “[the internet’s]…virtue of being participatory, by forcing users to learn new interfaces, and by creating new channels for social interaction.” (page 118) Johnson compares the web to television several decades ago. He argues that less benefit comes from passively watching people’s lives unfold like in the most popular TV shows than the benefit that comes from what has replaced that activity, actively producing our own narrative. Johnson then elaborates on the benefits of the web’s demand for an active user by pointing out that we can choose to access information that was previously not as readily available. In regards to the net’s encouragement to explore many new and evolving interfaces, Johnson argues that the number of complex interfaces that we learn to navigate in our use of the internet is useful in our intellectual growth. While he acknowledges the argument that the internet will eliminate some amount of the traditional face to face social interaction, he claims that there is positivity to come from this. Because of the web, communication can happen in ways that it never has before. More people can reciprocally communicate with many people at once,…show more content…
Arguments of those critics support the claim that: new forms of electronic media are changing our brains to think in a less thorough and progressive manner. This is to say things like PowerPoint, the new standard of edited videos and Twitter are causing our ways of thinking to shift to a shallower way of thinking. Pinker contends that the very people that are making exponentially more new, insightful, and progressive discoveries regularly do so using these new forms of media. This is supported by Pinker’s claim that while neural plasticity allows for our brains to be changed by the world around us, it does not cause our brains to be limited in their consumption and application of information by adopting the same shallow, bulleted format presented in electronic
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